Member Journal Entry:

RE: MVCoins --- Early Releases - Aren't They All The Same?

Posted: 2/9/2012 6:43:49 AM | Views:624

Well, the coins really are the same, but that wasn't what I was asking, so a point of clarification.

MVCoins raised an issue in response to the question I posed to the group, asking are the coins in the holders with the Early Releases label from NGC not the same as coins which aren't in those holders.

For grading, value in NGC Registry price guides, and for points - the answer is yes, they are certainly the same.

Whether or not a collector places greater value on coins with the label is a separate issue entirely, and one that I would love to discuss, just some other time.

MVCoins also pointed to the fact that at least in MY example, the 25th Anniversary Silver American Eagle Sets, the sets sold out from the Mint on the first day, so aren't they ALL Early Releases?

Well, that answer is a resounding no.

I for one did not get my coins until two days before the Early Releases cut-off date -- a month after they went on sale at the US Mint.

I saw a journal entry here about a collector who has been on the waitlist for the set for months, continued to get ongoing delay emails from the Mint's fulfillment center, and had lost hope. Then, one day, I want to say just a few weeks ago, that collection just got his set -- in mid January -- over a month and a half after the cut-off date, and that would make approximately 2.5 months after his order on the day of release.

As for collecting classic coins vs. others, that is also a discussion for another time. I will say briefly though, that the Lincoln Cent has arguably become a classic coin, having run now for well over a century, with some interesting changes over the course of the longest running coin series in our country's history. The point though is that even this classic Lincoln Cent is eligible for Early Release labels, if someone chooses to obtain it.

So, regardless of my specific example of 1st day sell-out by the US Mint for the 25th Anniversary Silver American Eagle sets, there are PLENTY of coins which DO NOT sell out on day one, or even day 401, and therefore do not meet the criteria for the Early Releases label.

And of course, we have no idea when the Mint made the coins. I don't know how long MVCoins has been around and been collecting, but let's use our thinking caps and turn back several years and remember when NGC used the "FIRST STRIKES" labels, which was the standard at the time.

NGC ultimately eliminated the label, and rightfully so, in favor of "Early Releases, and gave solid rationale for doing so, right in line with MVCoins' point. NGC's reason was that without any way to verify WHEN a coin was produced by the U.S. Mint, something I think they discovered through bulk submissions of original large Mint boxes of coins, that "First Strikes" was simply inaccurate and as a Third Party Grading service which is striving to provide the most accurate information about a coin as is possible, they could no longer support the First Strikes designation. In lieu of that, they offered Early Releases labels, and defined as described here:

It basically boils down to: coins received by NGC during the first 30 days of release.

Which brings me to the point of my ORIGINAL message on the 7th of February, which questioned the validity of the Early Releases designation when coins weren't received BY the cut-off date posted by NGC, and in turn therefore questioned the integrity of NGC's processes -- and posed it to the group for any opinions, which I more than welcome, for better or worse -- I just don't want to get into a debate about the merits of Early Releases vs. plain brown labels right now, deal?

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